In the Blink of an Eye

Chapter 10

By the time Kensi and Deeks arrived back at the boat house with the store owner, they found that Sam and Callen were already inside the interrogation room with the dirty cop responsible for helping the mercenaries get their hands back on the supercomputer, right out from LAPD's nose. However, the agents came back out of the room within a few minutes and glared at the man they had questioned the day before at the computer store.

"Chris here has agreed to cooperate fully with us as long as his help leads us to bringing down our scumbags and finding Eric," Deeks spoke up as he removed the blindfold from over the man's eyes, which was used on all of their suspects when bringing them inside so that wouldn't be able to see where they were being taken. "In exchange, we agreed to protect him from them."

"Like most of our suspects, this one's afraid he'll be killed for talking," Kensi added disdainfully as she took him from her partner and escorted him into their second interrogation room, then came back out to stand with the rest of her team. "What a shock."

Sam smiled and then responded, "At least he's agreed to talk, which is more than we can say for our man in the other room."

Callen replied, "That's not surprising either. Dirty cops are very rarely cooperative. Did Dorn there say where his friends took Eric?"

"Unfortunately, he claims he doesn't know and I believe him," Kensi answered. "But he did tell us who his bosses are. We're looking for a man by the name of Devlin Fassbender and his partner, our mysterious tattoo guy, Ryu Kang."

"Sounds like a couple of video game characters from out of Mortal Kombat or something," Callen responded in an almost mocking tone.

Sam looked over at his partner as he asked, "Since when do you play video games, especially one as lame as Mortal Kombat?"

Callen replied, "First of all, Mortal Kombat was great and second, I don't still play video games, unless I'm questioning a kid, or something, not that any of this even matters. We need to get these names to Ne…"

"That is already taken care of, Mr. Callen," Hetty spoke up as she walked into the boathouse to join her team she had carefully put together. "Nell is researching them as we speak, though I doubt she'll find much on either one of them, least of all this Devlin Fassbender."

"We gave Hetty and Nell a call as soon as we got their names," Deeks answered when his teammates looked over at him. "Dorn was nervous as hell when he gave them up. My gut's telling me that taking them down is going to be near impossible."

Sam responded, "So, what else is new?"

Hetty spoke again as she said, "Our first priority is to save Eric. Then, we can deal with our Mortal Kombat fighters. We just need to get as much information from our two suspects as possible. Mr. Deeks and Miss. Blye, why don't the two of you continue working with Mr. Dorn in there, while Mr. Callen, Mr. Hanna, and I continue dealing with Officer Kitchell."

"Sounds like a plan," Kensi replied, then stepped away as he walked into the interrogation room where their suspect was waiting for them, followed quickly by Deeks.

"Exactly, what do you have in mind for our suspect, Hetty?" Sam asked once they were gone. "He doesn't like us and I really don't think he's going to like you much more."

Hetty just walked into the interrogation room and when she sat across from the man, as Callen and Sam stood behind her, the LAPD officer spoke up as he asked, "So, you're the woman in charge here. You're not exactly what I was expecting and your headquarters here are a bit unorthodox. I like it though. Let me guess, you're here because you have a different approach for getting me to talk?"

She smiled as she took a seat across from him and then answered, "No, I just plan to ask you a few more questions, in hope of getting to know you a little more."

"I see," Kitchell responded. "I really have nothing more to say. I already told your agents all I'm willing to say and if you are hoping that I'll tell you where your beach bum, computer geek is, you're in for disappointment. I believe he's still alive for now, but he won't be by the time you find him."

"And why is that?" Hetty continued. "At least tell us what your friends have planned for him."

Kitchell smiled as he replied, "He's helping my friends, as you call them, encrypt the information from the supercomputer just like the engineer was doing before your little friend shot and killed him. It's only fair that he take his place."

Callen spoke up saying, "Eric would never agree to help you, knowing that whatever you're looking for on that machine will lead to the loss of a number of innocent lives. What did you threaten him with?"

"We didn't have to," Kitchell answered. "He's just helping us."

"You're lying," Sam responded coldly. "What did you do to him?"

The cop only smiled and then replied, "I'll leave that up to your imaginations. Now, as I've already told you, I was at the warehouse during the shootout and watched your friend kill Calder. I remained behind after my friends fled in order to avoid getting caught by my fellow teammates. I was able to blend right in with them. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting to get caught, especially so quickly."

Hetty spoke up again as she answered, "You were caught so quickly because that beach bum, computer geek, as you called him, found you out and managed to get a message to us as he was being kidnapped by your mercenary friends. Before, he was looking into Calder and ran across the surveillance footage of you arguing with him at his lab. He also came across a check that was signed, by you, with your initials, then given to Calder, which I'm guessing, was a payoff for the engineer's services. You're sunk. Eric Beale is a very valuable asset to NCIS and is a very dear friend of ours. I assure you that if he dies…"

"Threaten me all you want, lady, but if you think that your threats are going to help you at all, then you're sorely mistaken," Kitchell interrupted angrily. "You can't touch me because soon, my old boss at the LAPD, Sergeant Williams, will be here to get me out of here. I may have lost my job, but she won't want my betrayal to destroy her's or the department's image and so she'll do whatever she can to protect me from agents like you."

"I wouldn't bet on it," Hetty said frigidly. "You see, I've spoken to your boss and though she was a little uneasy about turning you over to us fully, she eventually agreed that it is the least that you deserve for betraying the oath to protect our country and its people that you once stood for. You're through being an officer of the law, but the more information you offer us, the better off you will be in the end. I promise you that. Now, are you willing to change your mind about cooperating?"

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